Why we can't wait to see ''Brokeback Mountain''
RELEASE DATE Dec. 9, limited
WHY WE CAN'T WAIT Festival audiences have given this multiple-hankie drama some of the year's best Oscar buzz.
PREMISE Two cowhands (Jake Gyllenhaal, right, and Heath Ledger, left) meet in 1963 Wyoming and carry on a decades-long affair, through many ordeals and tragedies.
SOURCE E. Annie Proulx's short story from The New Yorker magazine
THE BACK STORY The shoot proved an ordeal both physically and emotionally for the cast. ''It was just grueling, especially for the boys,'' says Dawson's Creek alumna Michelle Williams, Ledger's real-life girlfriend, who plays his anguished on-screen wife. ''It's like shell shock or something. We all had our little defenses. We smoked lots of cigarettes.''
BURNING QUESTION Is the multiplex ready for gay cowboys?
COME FOR The men, especially Ledger
STAY FOR The women, Williams and Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway